NORTH MIAMI-DADE — If a child’s mind could conceive it, then he or she got to experience it at the recent eighth annual “Children’s Holiday at North” celebration held at Miami Dade College’s North Campus. Thousands of families converged on the campus grounds in unincorporated north Miami-Dade for a day of live entertainment, food and just about every activity a child could dream of.
The day included everything from a holiday village with a 12-foot mountain of artificial snow that children could slide down, an arts and craft pavilion and more than 50 exhibits, reading and cooking corners, a holidays-around-the-world pavilion and a parade led by marching bands, cartoon characters and Santa and Mrs. Claus.
If that wasn’t enough, kids could also enjoy pony and train rides, bounce houses, rock climbing walls, K9 dog shows, clowns, face painting and a large number of technology mobiles with games.
Vashti McClain-Flowers, who was eating a concoction that her son and nephew made in one of the cooking corners during the Dec. 8 event, said she has attended the event with her kids for the last five years.
“I come every year because this is a magnificent multicultural event for kids. I like that it allows them to meet other people from different races and cultures and see how different things are. Plus, they get to see Santa Claus, which is the most important,” McClain-Flowers said.
Emma Jackson agreed. “This is such a great event and they’re having a lot of fun,” said Jackson, who brought her nephew Raymond and niece Sa’riya.
Vaughn Johnson brought his two little sisters, Brianna and Arianna after hearing about the celebration from one of the school’s deans.
“This is a nice event and they smiled when I asked them if they wanted to come,” he said.
North Campus President Jose A. Vicente said such comments are common among the attendees over the years. He said attendance has grown from 5,000 the first year to 38,000 this year.
“Many families do not have the resources this holiday season to bring to their children the magic of the holidays. This is a way for MDC to give back to our community and, most importantly, for planting the seed in children’s minds about the importance of college by visiting the campus grounds and facilities and interacting with faculty and staff who volunteer their services that day.”